The rumors, which started in January, are confirmed: Portland Monthly reports one of Japan’s most prominent ramen chains, Afuri, will open its first location outside of Japan in Portland; moreover, according to Afuri’s Instagram, it is soft open select nights right now and will hold its grand opening October 18.
Located at 923 SE 7th Ave., the ramen behemoth will seat around 90 in the dining room and 13 at the bar. PoMo’s Kelly Clarke writes Afuri will begin with dinner, with plans to expand its offerings to lunch and weekend brunch, and the restaurant won’t only serve ramen: The menu features a mix of Japanese foods, from sushi prepared by Yoji Harada, formerly of Michael Mina’s Pabu, to grilled meats, karaage fried chicken, and its signature bowls of ramen.
After touring the restaurant, Clarke came away with one particularly mouthwatering takeaway: Afuri isn’t “simply content to bring another Japanese ramen chain to Portland, a migration that’s introduced locals to Shigezo, Kizuki (formerly Kukai Ramen), and most recently, the great Marukin Ramen in the past five years. Instead, Afuri is building a stateside shrine to Japanese food culture in total—ramen and sushi to grilled meats, tea, and sake—the scope of which Portland has not yet seen.”
Until October 18, watch Afuri’s Instagram for more details on its soft opening.